This legislative day was filled with debate and passage of a Hate Crimes Bill HB 426. The majority of the time discussing this bill took place in the Senate.  It ultimately passed the Senate then later the House. It has been sent to the Governor for his signature.  He plans to sign the bill.

Senate Education and Youth Committee Chaired by Senator PK Martin met during an hour recess of the Senate. 

The following bills were rushed(passed) through the committee:

HB 86 A controversial review and appeals process as an added feature to the teacher evaluation process. (my opinion)The details in this bill could cause some additional litigation. The Senate committee quickly moved the bill and then the chair apologized for not taking any verbal testimony. There will be a substitute version of this bill will be available soon.

HB 755 Mandates local districts to provide an allotment sheet for its charter schools begins July 1, 2021. ( my opinion) Another bill that is unnecessary and piles on requirements for local districts in the name of transparency.

HB 855 Foster children will be assessed for any negative trauma that might have had an impact.

The entire Senate debated and passed HB 167 a COVID-19 related bill which provides legal protections for state and local governments and businesses along with individuals. (my opinion) This could benefit/help school districts.

Three days remaining in the session. The end of the session can not come soon enough.  I was fearful that the legislators would begin to stuff the legislative process with last minute additions and they are not disappointing in that regard.  It makes for an interesting final few days.

The FY21 budget is continuing in the conference committee and the Governor’s recommendations of adding back $300 million and specifically $53 million added to QBE is being eagerly awaited to see if the committee adjusts the budget to accommodate Gov. Kemp’s recommendations.

Tomorrow is day 38.  We shall see.

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